DuPage Valley Conference
DeKalb at Waubonsie Valley
When: 2 p.m. Saturday
Last matchup: The Barbs were a 34-7 winner in DeKalb last year.
About the Barbs: Not much has changed since Week 1 for DeKalb, who found out hours before kickoff that Naperville North would not be able to play their Week 2 matchup.
Coach Keith Snyder said dealing with that disappointment is basically like dealing with a loss.
“It’s obviously disappointing to prepare and work and get ready all week only to have the rug pulled out from underneath you hours before kickoff,” Snyder said. “But in the end you have to treat it like a loss. You have 48 hours to be disappointed or upset then you have to get ready to go 1-0 the following week. I’ve been impressed and very happy with the two quality days we’ve had so far despite what happened Saturday.”
The Barbs enter 1-0 after beating Metea Valley in Week 1. They had a pair of 80-yard rushers in Tucker Ikens and Toriano Tate, plus 50 on the ground and 114 in the air from Trenton Kyler. The offense scored on every possession except the last.
Snyder said the offensive line was very strong in Week 1 and is expecting a tough Waubonsie defensive line this week.
“We talk about how strong we feel about them,” Snyder said. “If we can protect Kyler this week and create holes for ur guys in the backfield, we’ll have a good week.”
About the Warriors: Waubonsie Valley knocked off Metea Valley, 26-24, on Saturday to improve to 1-1 overall and in the conference. Metea Valley quarterback Logan Frederick was 21 of 35 for 282 yards and two touchdowns. In Week 1 against DeKalb, he threw 22 of 34 for 252 yards and three touchdowns.
LaDale West II had a key interception in the closing seconds to preserve the win, right after junior Nathan Pappas hit senior Sean Clinton for a touchdown pass. Pappas threw for 151 yards and three touchdowns. Jabron Lee had 27 carries for 162 yards for the Warriors, including an 8-yard scoring run.
“I think you’re going to see a balanced, spread team,” Snyder said. “They’re 60-40, maybe 50-50 run-pass. Sean Clinton is a really nice player, can really stretch the field. We did a nice job on him a year ago. We have to know where he is at all times. And (Lee) is a really good running back. He runs hard and can break tackles.”
Friday Night Drive Pick: DeKalb
Sandwich at Sycamore
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Last matchup: The Spartans were 49-0 winners last year in Sandwich.
About the Spartans: Although they’ve won the first two games, coach Joe Ryan said there is still room for improvement. He said most of those things involving timing and other issues that stem from the team having lost so many reps.
“We’re glad to be 2-0 but we’re a long ways away from what we feel like is our best football,” Ryan said. “I think a lot of teams can say that. We need to knock off a lot of rust and hopefully we get a week better. That’s always our goal.”
Sophomore Eli Meier will take over at starter, with Caden Carrier shifting to receiver.
The Spartans have given up just 13 points this year. but said they haven’t been tested. Kaneland was tough up front and a challenge for the line, but the Knights were still figuring out things - like Sycamore the Knights have swapped quarterbacks.
“I think we’re getting better and better and that’s what we need,” Ryan said. “It’s probably better we haven’t faced a juggernaut on offense yet. But they’re getting better every week so when we face that really good offense it matches up.”
About the Indians: Sandwich enters 0-2, after a 45-7 loss to Kaneland - a team Sycamore beat 12-6.
Seven Tornga has been carrying the load for the Indians, with 32 carries for 163 yards and two touchdowns. Max Coldwate anchors things at linebacker for the Sandwich defense.
The Indians are very young this year, with just eight seniors.
Friday Night Drive Pick: Sycamore
Rochelle at Kaneland
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Last matchup: Kaneland picked up a 42-14 road win over the Hubs last year.
About the Knights: Behind freshman quarterback Troyer Carlson, the Knights (1-1 overall and I8) bounced back from an opening week loss to Sycamore with a 45-7 win against Sandwich. He threw for 181 yards.
“I thought for a first varsity game we did pretty good,” coach Pat Ryan said. “His numbers were pretty impressive, 10 for 12 and four touchdowns. It was a pretty good day. I hope he keeps it up for us. I was impressed with his poise for a freshman starting on varsity, especially at quarterback.”
The defense also shined for the Knights for the second straight week, allowing 27 yards to the Indians a week after Sycamore got just 12 points.
A week after Erik Teran had more than 20 tackles in a win against Sycamore, Sam Pryor led the team in tackles for the first time in his career.
“I think our kids are doing a nice job of making their reads,” Ryan said. “Multiple times on file we saw all 11 hats getting to the ball. That’s something we’ve focused on is that pursuit. In practice you don’t always see it but to see it in a game was nice. It shows the kids really bought into what we’re teaching.”
About the Hubs: Rochelle lost to LaSalle-Peru last week, falling to 0-2 on the season. It was the second straight year the Cavs shut out Rochelle. The HUbs managed just 39 rushing yards in the game and four first downs.
Gabe Neece and Ben Harvey led the defense for the Hubs.
Friday Night Drive Pick: Kaneland
Big Northern Conference
Genoa-Kingston at Byron
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Last matchup: Byron was a 42-13 winner a season ago in Genoa.
About the Cogs: G-K coach Chad Wilmarth said he is just happy his team is getting the opportunity to play.
“We’re just taking it one game at a time and enjoying those mental pictures,” Wilmarth said. “The kids are excited to be on the field and playing. Now more than ever we’re appreciating the chance to compete against an opponent and getting after it.”
Wilmarth said last week’s 47-7 win against Rock Falls in the opener - the BNC took Week 1 off - had its strange moments. The Cogs had a kick return for a score, a safety by Owen Simmons, and a field goal all in the same quarter.
“(Simmons) is an aggressive, hard-working kid,” Wilmarth said. “We’ve been working hard to get our legs under us and getting after it. It’s awesome to see that.”
About the Tigers: Byron edged Oregon, 24-16, a week ago in Mendota in the season opener for both teams. Chandler Binkley ran for 111 yards on 18 carries, including two late touchdowns to power the win.
The Tigers had to play come from behind against Oregon after reaching the 3A title game in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Josiah Fetherston had 126 yard on 15 carries for the Tigers.
“They’re not changing what they’ve done,” Wilmarth said. “It’s no secret to their success the last two years. They’ve had success with the wing-T and we expect them to stick with it.”
Friday Night Drive Pick: Byron
Hiawatha at River Ridge
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Last matchup: The Wildcats won a Week 1 meeting between the teams, 18-6, at Alden-Hebron.
About the Hawks: Hiawatha will face the Wildcats for the second time in 13 days. Coach Jason Keneway said the Hawks are no strangers to playing a team twice in a season, although this is much closer together than usual.
“It’s a little different but it’s still kind of the same,” Keneway said. “We’ve always done well when we’ve faced a team twice. Last year against Marquette we lost by a touchdown [41-35 in Week 3] then beat them [49-20 in Week 8].”
This week will be complicated, Keneway said, by the long bus ride - two hours out to Hannover rather than about an hour up to Alden-Hebron.
But he also in Week 1 he was still trying to figure out what worked in 8-man football, something he had a better understanding of in Week 2 in a 58-14 home win against South Beloit.
That included switching Jacob Smith from guard to running back. He had 30 yards on six carries. He said he also needed to figure out a way to get players like Austin Brantley the ball in space.
“Their strength is in their line, they’ve got a big one, so with Smith that’s a 220-pound running back,” Keneway said. “As long as we get those first guys blocked he can get through the line with more aggression than someone who ways 160 pounds. That was one thing I didn’t know we weren’t ready for, how to use big bodies. So we’re definitely using our size and speed differently.”
About the Wildcats: In the win two weeks ago, Bryton Engle and Caleb Rhodes powered the River Ridge offense.
The Wildcats are coming off a 38-13 win at North Fulton
Friday Night Drive Pick: River Ridge